Talking trash: Carbon Trust to recognize leaders in waste management

Talking trash: Carbon Trust to recognize leaders in waste management

cardboard recycling at Walmart/CC licenese by Walmart/Flickr

The Carbon Trust has revealed plans for a new waste standard designed to help businesses demonstrate that they are measuring and managing down their waste levels in a responsible manner.

The new international standard was announced to coincide with the fifth anniversary of the Carbon Trust's Carbon Standard, which has seen more than 650 organizations independently verify that they are measuring and reducing their greenhouse gas emissions year-on-year.

The proposed waste standard will be modeled on the Carbon Standard and the recently introduced Carbon Trust water management standard. However, a spokesman for the company said organizations obtaining the new standard will have to demonstrate they are managing waste effectively and not simply reducing waste levels.

"Waste management is about more than just reducing waste tonnage," he explained. "It is about moving up the waste hierarchy so that you are reducing or reusing waste where possible. Gaining the waste standard will not be as simple as reducing waste tonnage. Organizations will have to be able to show they are managing the waste stream."

The not-for-profit company is planning to pilot the standard with a number of organizations over the summer before getting the final methodology signed off by its standards board. The standard then should be officially launched alongside the announcement of the first wave of organizations to obtain the label during the autumn.

Tom Delay, chief executive of the Carbon Trust, said the new standard would help companies demonstrate that they are managing their waste in a responsible manner, while also promoting waste management processes that help to cut costs and improve environmental performance.

"For the past five years we've worked with companies across the world to cut carbon emissions and it is now time for us to apply this expertise to the global problem of waste," he said in a statement. "The new Waste Standard, combined with Carbon Standard and Water Standard, will help organizations take a more stringent approach to resources so they can operate in a more efficient, cost-effective way, as well as preserving global resources."

The company indicated a direct connection between its new efforts to promote effective waste management and its core goal of tackling greenhouse gas emissions, noting that organic waste accounts for 5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. The business community is responsible for significant waste levels, with government figures suggesting commercial and industrial waste is responsible for 2.3 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions in the U.K. each year.

This article originally appeared at BusinessGreen and is reprinted with permission.

Image credit: cardboard recycling at Walmart/CC licenese by Walmart/Flickr